Professional Communication: Cultural Sensitivity
Grand Canyon University: NUR 502
March 30, 2018
For week 2 assignment, we were asked to complete a culture sensitivity assignment. We must find an article on a specific cultural group and complete a writing essay, about their cultural values and the way they communicate. For me, this assignment was greatly appreciated. As healthcare providers, we provide care to all cultural groups and we must remember, not all patients communicate the same. According to our textbook the Authors indicates, the nursing assessment, interventions, and plan of care can only be effective if the nurse takes into account cultural influences. Remember to include appropriate resources when necessary “to enable proficient and uncompromising care” (Barker & DeNisco, 2016).
Every day we are seeing an increase in the diversity of the patients we care for. Because of the fast growing, populations, most healthcare facility understand the need to keep their staff educated in cultural sensitivity. The cultural sensitivity class is taught in nearly all the hospitals today. This class is mandatory for all new hires during their orientation process and yearly thereafter.
According to my selected article, “Successful communication between healthcare providers and their patients from different cultural backgrounds depends on developing awareness of the normative cultural values of patients and how these differ from the cultural values of most western medical professionals”. (Cultural Values of Asian Patients and Families …, n.d.)
Although, there are many cultural groups to choose from, I decided to research and learn more about the Asian population. The Asian population peeked my interest, when I discovered there were multiple ethnicities within this group. I learned early in my nursing career to not judge someone based on appearance. During one of my work days, I got a new admission. The patient and her husband walks into the room and I thought for sure they were Hispanic. I was very surprised during the admission process, I asked the patient “what is your ethnicities” and she responded Asian. I took a second look at the patient and still, I thought she was joking. Due to my lack of knowledge, I always thought that Asians were only Korean or Chinese. The admission process is when we learn the most about our patient health and their cultural background.
After reading this article, I can say, that I was more informed, about the Asian population. In this essay, I hope to capture the most important information, and learn more about professional communication and the cultural sensitivity of the Asian population.
After reading the article, I learned that the Asian population extends through three general groups. According to the article, the Asian community consist of; (1) Pacific Islanders, mostly Hawaiians, Samoans, and Guamanians; (2) Southeast Asians, largely comprised of Indochinese from Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Burmese and Philippinos; and (3) East Asians, including Chinese, Japanese, and Korean (Trueba, Cheng, & Ima 1993). Each of these communities differs in socio-cultural traits, as do the subgroups within each. That said, people belonging to “Asian” cultures are accustomed to distinct communication norms that are significantly different from those of native born Americans and other immigrants. To better understand how we will use culture-based generalizations to learn about Asian cultures in this article, please review our newsletter contrasting culture-based generalizations and stereotypes. (Cultural Values of Asian Patients and Families …, n.d.).
Summary of Article
This article was written by Marcia Carteret in October of 2012. The purpose of this article was to show how the Asian population communicate within their culture. After reading, I found that this article painted a vivid picture of the Asian population and the different ethnicities within this group.
While reading the article, I learned that the Asian culture presents a strong family connection. Within the Asian population, loyalty amongst the family members, is a must and any disgrace to one self or the family will not be tolerated. The elders of the family are most important. The Asian population are taught not to display strong emotions of grief or pain, even if there is death in the family.
The article will also speak of how the Asians communicate within their culture. The writer of this article will have you to believe that the Asians likes to keep peace with the people. The Asian cultures tend to do most of their communication by use of body language, gestures, eye contact, pitch, intonation and sometimes in silence which is also an important form of communicating.
The article will point out how the Asian patients communicate within the healthcare setting. When speaking with this cultural group, Healthcare providers must not assume that they understand every word spoken. The article states that Asians will often nod their head and even smile, but these gestures will be a display of shame and or confusion. Healthcare providers must make for certain that the Asian population understands the information regarding their healthcare. Encouraging this population of people, including children, to ask clarifying question as proof of their understanding.
Asian believe that all things happen for a reason and they accept their fate with a different thought process then most cultures. The Asian also have a different belief about time and they believe in making the most of the hour by multi-tasking their day.
Application to Practice
So, as I learn more about this culture, I often remind myself that, in practice, good communication/observation skills are key to treating Asian patients. Whenever you suspect there may be a language barrier between the patient and the healthcare providers, you should always seek to use an interpreter.
The next time I encounter an Asian patient, I will remember some very helpful tips I learned from reading this article. Tips to remember: Make for sure the patient understands what I’m asking or saying. Don’t assume that they understand just because they are smiling or head-nodding. Observe for any signs of confusion or resistance to treatment offered because the patient may not understand. Don’t ask questions in a way that requires a yes or no answer. You want the patient to answer in full statements because this will assure, the patient understands. Pay attention to nonverbal body gestures. Don’t forget that the Asian population make decision regarding care as a family and this could often lead to a delay in care. You must build trust with this population of people if you want them to be more compliant with their treatment plan. Be sure to address any concerns the patient/family may have and offer concrete advice.
Healthcare providers have an obligation to treat every patient fair no matter what their cultural background may be. Our textbook mention that “achieving cultural competence suggests, possession of the ability to respond effectively To The cultural needs of our patents” (Baker & DeNisco, 2016). Poor communication and lack of cultural knowledge often lead to noncompliance in care and reduced positive outcomes.
In healthcare, our goal is to offer star treatment and continue to have an increase in patient satisfaction. We must educate ourselves and be more knowledgeable of our patient’s culture and values surrounding their ethnicities. For the Asian community, this may be the only way of reducing the breakdown in Professional Communication and Cultural Sensitivity.
Carteret, Marcia. “Cultural Values of Asian Patients and Families.” Dimensions of Culture, 21 Oct. 2010, www.dimensionsofculture.com/2010/10/cultural-values-of-asian-patients-and-families/.
Barker, A. M., ; DeNisco, S. M. (2016). Advanced practice nursing: Essential Knowledge for the Profession (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Jones ; Bartlett. ISBN-13: 9781284072570